UFC heavyweight striker Pat Barry recently had the chance to face his idol Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic this past June at UFC 115: Liddell Vs. Franklin and though he lost that bout and earned a broken hand and foot in the process, Barry was thrilled just to have the opportunity to spend time in the cage against an MMA veteran and one of his heroes. It looks as though Barry will get the chance to further prolong his time spent trading blows with the former Croatian parliamentarian as “Cro Cop” has invited Barry to train with him for a possibly upcoming fight; and “Cro Cop” isn’t the only one seeking Barry’s kickboxing expertise.
“I’m talking to ‘Cro Cop,'” Barry told USCombatSports.com recently. “Brock Lesnar wants me to come and be his sparring partner. This is what? You can’t write this man, this isn’t even a dream. This is just all around fabulous. I’m just going to keep riding with it, man, and keep screaming thank you out the window to somebody.”
“Cro Cop” is currently on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC and, despite recent reports that have him heavily considering retirement, it looks like Filipovic may be looking for another UFC bout soon and he wants to enlist Barry’s help to prepare for it.
“Something that is really cool and that no one really knows about, ‘Cro Cop’ says he might fight again in November,” said Barry. “And (Filipovic) says as soon as my hand is healed, he would like to fly me to Croatia for a month to come and be his sparring partner.”
“Cro Cop” is not only looking to have Barry help him increase his own technical skill but is also looking to lend a hand to Barry so that the Duke Roufus trained fighter may shore up the weaknesses that Filipovic took note of during their fight.
“He (Filipovic) said, ‘you are faster than I am and you hit harder than I do,’ or something like that, ‘but I could tell that when we grabbed each other,’ he’s like, ‘I could tell you weren’t very strong,'” said Barry. “‘Like you haven’t been wrestling with guys bigger than you or stronger than you. So I’ve got a lot of giant serial killer Croatian guys out here, that are wrestlers that I could throw at you. But I would really like you to come out here and be my sparring partner for my next fight.'”
In addition to getting the opportunity to glean knowledge from one of the most experienced MMA fighters competing today in “Cro Cop,” Barry may also soon have the chance to measure himself against current UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, an amazing opportunity for any young fighter.
“Brock Lesnar has asked for me to come and be his sparring partner for a month before he fights Cain Velasquez,” revealed Barry. “How cool is that? A month with the heavyweight champion of the universe Brock Lesnar, the biggest scariest dude on earth, and then a month with a legendary striker like ‘Cro Cop.’ These two guys have recognized and see something in me that they feel can help them get better, and that’s amazing. I get to see what it’s like to be with the big guy, the heavyweight champ, and to train with ‘Cro Cop’, that’s cool man.”